The Circle: The Engelsfors Trilogy, Book One
What happens when you mix magic with teens, bullying, revenge, murder, love and danger? That is what you find in THE CIRCLE by Sara B. Elfgren and Mats Strandberg.
This story starts in a little, quiet town called Engelsfors, which is located in Sweden. Nothing remarkable or extraordinary seems to happen there. That is until there is suicide of a high school student, Elias Malmgren. This event shakes up the school and the magic in the town. The blood-red moon appears that same night and begins the journey of six girls --- Minoo, Vanessa, Linnea, Anna-Karin, Rebecka and Ida. Each girl is drawn to an abandoned theme park and they find out that they have been Chosen. However, that may be the only thing the girls have in common.
"THE CIRCLE is a great book that adds magical elements with real life challenges and features an amazing cast of heroines."
The girls each face real world problems. Minoo is a straight-A student who is trying to find herself, while trying to gain the attention of her math teacher, Max. Vanessa is the party girl who is having problems getting along with her family, and she tries to escape her problems with her junkie boyfriend, Willie. Linnea is trying to cope with the lost of Elias, but isn’t convinced of his apparent suicide. Anna-Karin has been bullied her entire life and for once wants things to go her way. Rebecka is recovering from an eating disorder but has the love of her supporting model-gorgeous boyfriend, Gustaf. Ida is a bully who seeks to make other people miserable.
These girls find out from the principal, a.k.a their mentor, that they each represent an element and that gives them unique powers. Earth, fire, water, air, metal and wood. They find their true powers --- from invisibility to mind controlled --- and they start to understand what they are going up against. Maybe Elias’ suicide wasn’t just that...and maybe there is a dark force that one of the girls is closest to. Each girl finds something new to themselves through this dark and dangerous journey as Chosen Ones.
Elfgen and Strandberg have done a great job telling a story filled with suspense, dark humor and topics that teens can relate to. I promise that you will connect to one of these characters; I found that I understood each of these girls even though I am a guy. To conclude, THE CIRCLE is a great book that adds magical elements with real life challenges and features an amazing cast of heroines. One piece of advice I wished someone told me before I read this is this: don’t become attached to any of the characters. Trust me, you might just cry.
Reviewed by Alonzo D. on July 2, 2013